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Introducing ducks to each other

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by gdhp, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. gdhp

    gdhp Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 15, 2011
    Scilly
    We previously had 4 ducks, two male, two female.

    The two females were the original but were introduced to the duckling males when the boys were a few weeks old. They get on fine.

    We incubated one of the subsequent produced eggs and now have a fifth duck - gender unknown.

    For the first couple of months we have brought him up with the chickens who were born at the same time as him. However we now feel it is time to make him live with his own kind.

    He's a couple of months old and looks adolescent / adult, but is still very young.

    However whenever we drop him round back the other 4 go for him viciously, particularly the Aylesbury who is oddly enough his own mother.

    We've tried a few intros now, usually each for roughly half an hour, however every time they chase him to the other side of their run. Is there anyway to get him accepted into their flock. The other 4 all get on fine, however they don't seem to like the idea of a 5th. If we leave them to it will they eventually sort out their differences? Just how realistic are my fears of them drowning him in the bath? What can we do to help them get along? Is it just a lost cause and is our duck forever destined to be a odd looking chicken?

    Advice desired. Thanks.
     
  2. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    I think the most recommended method would be to place them within eyesight of each other but not be able to come in contact. The adults are going to look at it as an intruder. If you can give it a cage/fenced off area next to them for a while. Once they are more used to each other, they may get on fine. If it is a male you may run into problems from your drakes.
    There is a very real possibility of the adults killing the younger one. I would not leave them together unattended unless you want a potentially injured/dead duck. Because it was hatched/raised seperately, its mother does not know that it is its mother. Once they have become accustomed to eachother I would try treats to put everyone in a good mood. I wold not leave them unattended even at night until you are sure that the adults are not going to harm the younger. You may end up with a duck that lives with chickens. No guarantees.
     
  3. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Charlotte, NC
    He is probably still too young to be accepted into the group. If he does turn out to a boy, he may never be able to be integrated. The other drakes will not like it one bit and will beat on him furiously. As it is, I'm surprised your drakes don't fight with only two girls between them.

    The previous poster is correct, that if you're going to be successful the best thing you can do for now is keep him/her where the others can see and get used to her. If she turns out female, you can introduce her when she reaches sexual maturity.

    If you still have trouble, another good method is to mix things up--separate the current flock a bit, put one of them with her and put the others in a separate pen. Give the new girl & her friend the old pen and leave them like that for a few days or a week. When you add the others back in, they'll be lower on the totem pole and hopefully get along better.

    However, again, if you've got a boy there odds are low that he will ever be accepted. [​IMG] Sorry!
     
  4. gdhp

    gdhp Out Of The Brooder

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    Scilly
    So far the two females go for the new one a lot more than the boys. The boys seem less aggressive. Is this any possible sign she is a female - can the ducks tell themselves what gender he/she is? Odd question I know, but it struck me that the boys cared less than the girls.

    The two boys hatched together and have been growing up so that's probably stopped them killing each other.
     
  5. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At eight weeks, you should be able to tell by voice whether it's boy or girl. Does she make a loud quacking sound, or just soft or hoarse whispery sounds? Loud quacking=girl. Soft whispery=boy.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. gdhp

    gdhp Out Of The Brooder

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    Scilly
    Definitely girl... I have known a duck so loud and non stop all my life.
     
  7. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, that's excellent news. Give her another month and try mixing them up a bit. I'd take the two that are most aggressive toward her out and put her in with the others and see what happens. If they get along fine, keep the other two separate for a week or so and then put them back in.

    Good luck!
     
  8. gdhp

    gdhp Out Of The Brooder

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    Scilly
    Should it matter too much if I mix her with a male or female ducks, or is that unlikely to make much difference. Three of them are not too bad, but one female is horribly vicious to her. So going by behaviour would probably put one boy and one girl in with her or is that likely to be a bad plan?
     
  9. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think that's a fine plan--if you wait a little bit. You have to be careful about putting girls in before they're sexually mature, as the male can damage her trying to mate. I know it's a pain--you're eager to get the ducks all sorted out--but you'll be better off in the long run waiting another six to eight weeks.
     

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